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Israel at 60 - 3) The significance of the Jews' return to Israel

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www.christadelphians.co.uk - The third of a four part series exploring Israel and its significant position in the world. In this presentation we look at the significance of the events of May 1948 when …

www.christadelphians.co.uk - The third of a four part series exploring Israel and its significant position in the world. In this presentation we look at the significance of the events of May 1948 when Israel's independence was declared; we see how this occasion was prophesied hundreds of years ago, and more importantly, the bearing these events have on the future.

The Powerpoint slides can be downloaded from our website.

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  • 1. 1948 – 2008 ISRAEL AT 60 3) The significance of the Jews’ return to Israel
  • 2. Those key principles again
    • Everything we say is based on the Bible alone
      • The Bible is the Word of God
    • This series is not a celebration of Israel’s achievements over the last 60 years as they are by no means a perfect nation
    2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation . 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost .
  • 3. Israel at 60
    • Israel – God’s chosen land
    • The Jews – God’s true witnesses
    • The significance of the Jews’ return to Israel
    • The hope of Israel – the true Christian hope
  • 4. What have we learnt so far?
  • 5. Israel – God’s chosen land
    • God told Abraham, the father of the Jews, to leave his homeland and travel to the land of Canaan.
    • God also made a number of promises to him, one of which was that he and his descendants would inherit the land for ever.
    Genesis 13:14-17 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever . 16. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee .
  • 6. Israel – God’s chosen land
    • These promises have not yet been fulfilled
      • Abraham is dead!
      • The Jews were expelled from the land and scattered in AD 70, although…
  • 7. Israel – God’s chosen land
    • These promises have not yet been fulfilled
      • Abraham is dead!
      • The Jews were expelled from the land and scattered in AD 70, although…
      • … they are back now… significantly!
  • 8. Israel – God’s chosen land
    • These promises have not yet been fulfilled
      • Abraham is dead!
      • The Jews were expelled from the land and scattered in AD 70, although…
      • … they are back now… significantly!
    • God never breaks his promises
    Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
  • 9. The Jews – God’s true witnesses
    • God chose the Jews, Abraham’s descendants, as his special people
      • He told them he would never allow them to be destroyed
    Isaiah 43:10-12 Ye are my witnesses , saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange [other] god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses , saith the LORD, that I am God. Jeremiah 30:11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee : but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.
  • 10. The Jews – God’s true witnesses
    • God made many prophecies concerning events that would befall them throughout their history. He said that (amongst other things)…
      • They would spend 400 years as strangers in a foreign land – they did, in Egypt!
      • They would be taken into captivity by Babylon – they were, at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar!
      • Their captivity would last 70 years – it did!
      • They would again be overthrown, but this time scattered across all countries of the world – exactly what happened when the Romans overthrew them in AD 70!
  • 11. The Jews – God’s true witnesses
    • Not all the prophecies he made concerned events hundreds of years ago
    Jeremiah 31:10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him , and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. Jeremiah 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place , and I will cause them to dwell safely: Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14 th 1948 was in keeping with this prophecy – within living memory!
  • 12. We already have several reasons why the Jews’ return to the land is significant
  • 13. The significance of May 14 th 1948
    • A fulfilment of God’s prophecy that he would regather the Jews into their land
      • More evidence that the Bible is God’s Word
      • Evidence we can witness ourselves – not just historical
    • Reiterates how the Jew’s are God’s witnesses; despite 1900 years scattered around the world:
      • They didn’t lose their identity
      • They didn’t lose their homeland
      • They provide evidence of God’s promise to ensure they were never destroyed
    • Allows for the fulfilment of God’s promises to Abraham
  • 14. Israel at 60
    • Promises made to Abraham - PAST
    • The history of the Jews - PAST
    • Prophecy and its fulfilment - PAST
    • Restoration of the Jews to Israel - PAST
    While Israel’s significance today relates to the past, more importantly it also relates to the future
  • 15. The return of the Jews to the land of Israel is the first step in a sequence of events culminating in the final fulfilment of God’s promises to Abraham, and the establishing of his Kingdom
  • 16. A closer look at prophecy Jeremiah 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely :
  • 17. A closer look at prophecy Jeremiah 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely : Ezekiel 34:11-16 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep [Israel], and seek them out. 12. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 16. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
  • 18. A closer look at prophecy Ezekiel 34:25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace , and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. Ezekiel 34:28-29 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen , neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely , and none shall make them afraid . 29. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. Israel’s return to the land was prophesied to be a time of everlasting peace and safety – an end to all their troubles
  • 19. Can that be said of Israel today?
  • 20.  
  • 21. The BBC’s Christian Fraser at the talks says there is little hope for the Israeli – Palestinian peace deal Mr Bush wants by the time he leaves office [end of 2008].
  • 22.  
  • 23. Israel has had periods of peace, but nothing lasting and the threat of future oppression has never gone away
  • 24. God’s prophecy concerning the Jews’ return to their land is only partially fulfilled – there must be more to come!
  • 25. Israel – God’s chosen land
    • The fulfilment of God’s promises to Abraham involve a kingdom being established in Israel with dominion over the whole world and Jesus as its King.
    Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed : and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever . Luke 1:31-33 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever ; and of his kingdom there shall be no end .
  • 26. The coming kingdom of Israel Isaiah 2:1-4 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Revelation 21:2-4 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
  • 27. The coming kingdom of Israel Isaiah 11:1-9 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2. And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
  • 28. This time of peace and safety will come when the kingdom of God is re-established by Christ in Israel in the future
  • 29. When will Christ return?
  • 30. The return of Christ
    • We do not know when this will be…
    • … but we are told about events in the run up to it.
    Acts 1:6-7 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power . Luke 21:25-28 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
  • 31. The return of Christ will be preceded by signs pointing towards it
  • 32. What kind of signs?
  • 33. Signs
    • The Bible commonly uses the sun, moon and stars (‘the heavens’) to refer to political activity.
    Luke 21:25-28 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
  • 34. Signs
    • The Bible commonly uses the sun, moon and stars (‘the heavens’) to refer to political activity.
    Luke 21:25-28 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken . 27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Signs of Christ’s return can be found in the political activity of certain nations
  • 35. Which nations? What activity?
  • 36. More prophecy!
    • Ezekiel 38 – needs a dedicated study another time!
    Ezekiel 38:1-8 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2. Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3. And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4. And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6. Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. 7. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 8. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them .
  • 37. Ezekiel 38
    • Speaks of a leader known as ‘Gog’ leading a confederacy of nations against Israel
    • “ Chief prince” = “prince of Rosh”
      • Rosh = ancient name of Russia
    • Russia, with the support of her allies, is going to invade Israel!
    Ezekiel 38:2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him…
  • 38. Ezekiel 38
    • Persia is the old name for Iran
      • Whilst many nations oppose Iran today because of their nuclear threat, Russia is one of her closest allies!
    • Another alliance of nations will oppose the actions of this confederacy
    Ezekiel 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them [Gog]; all of them with shield and helmet: Ezekiel 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
  • 39. Ezekiel 38
    • Their opposition will not be enough
    Ezekiel 38:18-23 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. 19. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20. So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. 21. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother. 22. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
  • 40. Ezekiel 38
    • Their opposition will not be enough
    Ezekiel 38:18-23 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. 19. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20. So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. 21. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother. 22. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD. This is the time Christ will return!
  • 41. Other prophecies
    • There are plenty of other scriptures which add more fascinating details about these future events, for example:
      • Joel 3
      • Zechariah 14
      • 2 Thessalonians 2
    Zechariah 14:1-3 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle .
  • 42. Other prophecies
    • There are plenty of other scriptures which add more fascinating details about these future events, for example:
      • Joel 3
      • Zechariah 14
      • 2 Thessalonians 2
    Zechariah 14:1-3 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle . Israel will be in desperate straits and Christ’s return will be their only means of escape
  • 43. Signs
    • We cannot identify all of the nations involved precisely, although a deeper study of the scripture gives us some pretty good ideas
    • We can be certain that Russia and her allies will invade Israel and be opposed by another group of nations
    • By observing Russia, and other nations’ attitudes towards both Russia and Israel, we can see signs of these events coming to fruition
    • Israel will be a weak and defenceless nation by the time of Christ’s return – we can also look for signs of their decline
  • 44. What is the significance of the Jews’ return to Israel?
  • 45. The significance of May 14 th 1948
    • Christ will not return until a time when Israel’s backs are against the wall
      • This will involve an invasion from Russia and her allies
    • Russia could not invade Israel if the nation didn’t exist
    • God’s promises to Abraham (and others) can not be fulfilled without these events taking place
  • 46. The return of the Jews to the land of Israel is the first step in a sequence of events culminating in the final fulfilment of God’s promises to Abraham, and the establishing of his Kingdom
  • 47. A call to action!
    • These future events will be unlike anything ever experienced on the earth before
    • They will bring about changes throughout the whole world for ever
    • That includes your future and mine
    • The way in which our futures will be affected is determined by the choices we make now
  • 48. The significance of these things is not just something of academic interest. It concerns the future of each and every one of us. God’s Word deserves our full attention!
  • 49. More online
    • www.christadelphians.co.uk
    • Listen again to this presentation
    • Articles on other Bible topics
    • Details of forthcoming talks (God Willing)

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